With her team facing a rare second-half deficit, Cardinal Gibbons’ Taylor Currie took matters into her own hands.
Currie scored back-to-back goals to ignite a six-goal surge as the Crusaders took command in the second half on their way to a 7-2 victory over East Chapel Hill in a PAC-6 Conference girls soccer contest on Monday.
Caroline Goudy also added a pair of goals for Gibbons (11-1-1, 7-0 PAC-6), which kept East Chapel Hill (7-4, 4-1) from moving into a share of the PAC-6 lead.
“I think we just had to stay calm. It’s when we get rattled that we make mistakes,” said Currie, who also added an assist. “When we relax, that’s when we get the ball moving.”
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Despite dominating possession for nearly the entirety of the first half, Gibbons found itself down a goal when Annabel Hinkle scored on a penalty kick with 38 minutes, 31 seconds remaining to put the Wildcats up 2-1.
East Chapel Hill had some good offensive chances in the ensuing few minutes after Hinkle’s goal, but it didn’t take long for Gibbons to re-assert its dominance.
Taking advantage of a defensive miscue by East Chapel Hill, Currie recovered a loose ball deep in Wildcats territory, worked her way around a defender before scoring from close range to knot the score at 2 with 27:59 remaining.
Less than two minutes later, Currie struck again. Taking a pass from Anna Rockett from just inside the box, Currie boomed a 12-yard shot past Kern to put Gibbons ahead to stay, 3-2, with 26:11 to go.
Currie then set up Audrey Smith for Gibbons next goal, Currie speeding past a pair of defenders before sending a cross to a wide-open Smith for an easy goal with 21:41 left that made it 4-2.
Goudy, Emmy Duerr and Pierce scored the last three goals for Gibbons, which won its sixth straight.
“They’re a fantastic team,” East Chapel Hill coach Austin Collins said of Gibbons. “They had a lot more chances than us in the first half but I thought we frustrated them enough. ... We were holding the ball for a little while there in the second half but then a few of their goals took the wind out of our sails a little bit. Once they got started they didn’t miss anything after that.”
East Chapel Hill took advantage of its first significant scoring chance when Kern, following a pair of outstanding saves, sent a deep ball to Brynn Adams into Gibbons territory. Adams managed to outrace several defenders and beat goalie Abby Kopp one-on-one with a 20-yard shot just inside the right post to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with 12:42 left in the first half.
Gibbons, however, managed to tie it just before halftime. Emmy Duerr worked the ball deep into East Chapel Hill territory before deliver a nice through ball to Goudy, who fired a shot that deflected off Kern and into the goal for the equalizer with 58 seconds remaining.
“The need for us in the second half was to play quicker,” Gibbons coach Michele Miller said. “(East Chapel Hill) was well organized, they sat in, their game plan worked very well. ... The second half was more about who we are, moving the ball quickly and the opportunities presented themselves. That’s what we challenged them to do at halftime.”